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CANADA DAY

Canada Day is this week …and Big Larry is pretty excited. Canada Day has always been the kickoff of summer for me. To be honest, I’m not really celebrating our nation’s birthday as much as I’m just celebrating the fact that summer is here! 

I wait ten months for these two months of sunshine so damn right I’m going to celebrate “opening day” with a bang. I know we get sunshine for more than just those two months but its not the same. The kids are still in school and most of my friends and still teaching so we really only get July and August together …I look forward to those months.


July 1st has always been the unofficial kickoff for me though and after the 12-year covid lockout (felt like that long), I can’t wait to get out to celebrate this year, while seeing some old faces. It’s been way too long.


It’s incredible to think how far we’ve come over the last few years though, in terms of where we are with cannabislegalization. With lockdowns being front and center the last few years, we’ve really only had one covid free Canada day since legalization happened back in October of 2018; it will be nice to actually get out there and celebrate without any restrictions in place.


What I’m looking forward to the most is just sitting outside, smoking a joint with friends, without worrying about neighbours giving dirty looks and without the fuzz ruining our fun …more so the latter.

I can remember Canada Days where we’d be outside at a festival or something, surrounded by people smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, but as soon as that funky good smell of cannabis hit the air, it was like the bat signal for the cops or security to jump in. Don’t worry about the dude who just passed out from shot-gunning a 26’er of Jack Daniels; just get your noses in the air and sniff out that weed!


But that’s how it used to be on July 1st, before legalization. I can remember getting tossed out of multiple Ottawa hotels because they saw us smoking a joint …on the sidewalk …off their property. Did they have the right to do that? I would think not, but we were young and now stoned, in a city where none of us are from; who were we going to call? We just had to make do. One night I slept on a bathroom floor of a friend’s hotel room, using two slices of pizza I had found on their table; another time, I spent the night on a tube slide on a playground in Hull, Quebec …but those are pre cannabis legalization stories for another blog. 


Those are stories from back in the day though, before the reality of legalization was even on anyone’s radar. We all hoped it would one day happen but cannabis being legal was just a pipe dream back then. However, in the years leading up to legalization, when the dream was closer to being a reality, groups of pot smokers would often meet on holidays like Canada Day, to smoke in unity, trying to show the world that weed was harmless and should be legal.


Problem there was that the people from these groups were, more often than not, a misrepresentation of the average cannabis user. The media would show up at these large gatherings and the only people they seemed to show or interview would be people who looked like they had just hitched a ride from Woodstock in Doc Brown’s Delorean or had just crawled out of a ditch. Unkempt with no shirts on and usually with stoner squinted and a dorky glazed smile.


Of course they were going to interview these types of people though, over the people who are fully dressed and blending in; they all wanted that great soundbite to use on their news show, hoping to boost their ratings while getting praise from their boss in the process. Reporters are always looking for something sensational, something that will get people talking; they don’t want to interview the normal looking couple or the guy wearing a suit; those people likely wouldn’t give them that over-the-top quote they’re looking for. So, for years, prior to legalization, cannabis users on Canada Day were usually seen as burnouts in a sense; people who have zero cares in the world except for cannabis…and that’s just simply is not true.

I don’t blame the reporters; if you work in the news and its your job to get ratings, you’re always going to pick a complete wildcard to interview at these things over someone who just looks like an average person; it’s just more entertaining …but it also paints the rest of us with an inaccurate, stereotypical brush.


So, with all that being said, Big Larry is extra excited for Canada Day this year. 2019, the first summer after legalization, was fun but there were no concentrates yet, no vapes, no infused pre-rolls or beverages; it was basically just dried flower. Now, only a few years later, the cannabis game has evolved so much and there are so many different ways to enjoy it.


So, whether you’re celebrating Canada’s birthday or just using it as a kickoff to summer, or both, enjoy your July 1stand I hope you have as much fun as Big Larry plans to!